Pierre Gasly, who is staring at a potential Formula 1 race ban, has escaped further penalty points after being summoned to the stewards following the Sao Paulo Grand Prix sprint.
The Frenchman has 10 penalty points on his FIA Super Licence, with none able to be removed before May 2023 – and incurring two more before then would trigger a one-race ban.
Moving to Alpine next season, Gasly is in danger of having to sit out one of the first grands prix for his new team if he commits any more misdemeanours deemed worthy of penalty points.
There was a risk the ban could have been invoked before then though, with the stewards issuing him with a summons for something the 2020 Italian Grand Prix winner had done in the build-up to the Interlagos sprint.
Gasly and an AlphaTauri representative were called to the stewards over an “alleged failure to follow the race director’s instruction and alleged breach of Article 12.2.1 of the FIA International Sporting Code – driving unnecessarily slowly during reconnaissance laps”.
But the 26-year-old received only a warning as the stewards decided there had been a mitigating factor in play.
Their statement announcing the decision read: “The stewards took into account that there were people on the grid just after Safety Car Line 1, however the driver is responsible for driving the required speed during the entire lap.
“The race director’s Note to Teams specified a maximum time of 1:12.0 between the Safety Car lines, and Car 10 recorded a time of 1:14.185.”
Gasly still has to negotiate the grand prix without incurring two more penalty points which, if he did accumulate them in Brazil, would mean him having to miss the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – his intended final race for AlphaTauri.
Gasly finished 10th in the sprint, 34 seconds behind winner George Russell, and was due to line up in the same position for the race.